House debates

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Questions without Notice

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

2:00 pm

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Human Services, and refers to previous answers he has given in his current portfolio concerning the raids on the AWU when TV cameras turned up before the police. On 1 March last year the minister confirmed to the House no less than three times that neither he nor anyone in his office informed media outlets prior to the execution of the search warrants. Does the minister stand by the three answers he gave?

2:01 pm

Photo of Michael KeenanMichael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation) Share this | | Hansard source

The answer to the question is yes, I do stand by those statements. I was justice minister for 4½ years. Every single day, I and my office dealt with sensitive information, we had protocols associated with dealing with that information, and we continued to make sure that those protocols were adhered to in all circumstances.

Now let me remind the House what this investigation is actually about. The AWU offices were raided in search of documents about wrongdoing by the Leader of the Opposition when he was in charge of that union.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Members on both sides! The Treasurer!

Photo of Michael KeenanMichael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation) Share this | | Hansard source

When he was in charge of that union, donations were made to GetUp! and to his own campaign fund.

Government members interjecting

Photo of Michael KeenanMichael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation) Share this | | Hansard source

The question that the Australian Federal Police were investigating was whether those donations were made in a lawful way or whether the law was broken. The response of the AWU has been, for 18 months, to run interference to try and close down this police investigation. If those documents don't incriminate the Leader of the Opposition, then why is it that they can't be made public? What is it that the Leader of the Opposition is trying to hide?

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Isaacs!

Photo of Michael KeenanMichael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation) Share this | | Hansard source

I don't have questions to answer about this matter—the Leader of the Opposition does.